Mountain Resort in Mt. Hood National Forest
About 150 years ago, a US Army regiment looking for a shortcut through Mount Hood encountered heavy snows that forced them to abandon their wagons and supplies. The left-behind provisions led later arrivals to dub the area “Government Camp.” Today, that name is still in use—and the snowfalls are still epic.
Set on 28 acres in Mt. Hood National Forest, Grand Lodges at Collins Lake Resort is crisscrossed by a vast network of hiking, biking, and snowshoe trails. Benches and picnic areas line the pathways, which meander through the dense forest surrounding Collins Lake. At the center of the resort lies the clubhouse; it's equipped with a hot tub, sauna, and jetted whirlpool. There’s also a year-round heated pool whose water remains a toasty 88 degrees.
Dining options abound at the resort. Among the eight nearby restaurants and cafés, Ratskeller Alpine Bar & Pizzeria stands out for its specialty pizzas, microbrews, and live music. It's a family-friendly spot until 10 p.m., when the over-21 crowd is finally free to debate geopolitical currency crises.
Furnished private balconies in Grand Lodge condos offer scenic views of the mountains, and come with gas grills. Each two- or three-bedroom unit is individually decorated with rustic elements such as wildlife-themed artwork and a stone fireplace in the spacious great room.
Government Camp, Oregon: Year-Round Activities on Mount Hood
About an hour east of Portland, Government Camp is entrenched in the 1-million-acre Mt. Hood National Forest and is home to more than a thousand miles of hiking trails. Guided hikes of varying difficulties lead to popular spots such as Mirror Lake and the Sahalie waterfalls. Along the way you’ll find out about local history and compete to collect the most chipmunk autographs.
Each summer, Skibowl opens an Adventure Park where you can zoom down a half-mile-long alpine slide, jump off a bungee tower, and run in a human-size hamster ball.